Chiefs extract strawberry DNA

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A hands-on lab helped the Chiefs study fruit in-depth. McIntosh High 9th grade biology students extracted DNA from a strawberry.

Cat Nolan’s students got to participate in a truly memorable lab. To better explore the solubility of DNA, they needed a good subject. Strawberries were the right choice because they have eight copies of each of their seven chromosomes, a condition known as octoploid, and they are also easy to pulverize by hand. Nolan has done a similar activity where students collect their own DNA, but human DNA does not spool as easily on the toothpick as that of a strawberry.

“The big takeaways for my classes should be that soap breaks down both the cell membranes and its nucleus’s membrane and that DNA is insoluble in alcohol.”